Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Offseason Review: The San Francisco Giants

Manager Bruce Bochy is building a hall of fame
worthy resume in San Francisco.
After a team wins the World Series for the second time in three seasons, you can pretty well assume that they have a roster that they are confident in. The San Francisco Giants responded to their World Series ring by being relatively quiet on the free agent front. In fact, the only additions to the San Francisco roster are veteran reliever Scott Proctor who pitched in Japan in 2012 and Andres Torres who has been a Giant from 2009-2011 before being traded to the Mets in December of 2011. Other than that the only offseason strategy was re-signing many of the free agents who made their championship series possible. NLCS MVP Marco Scutaro, Jeremy Affeldt and Angel Pagan were all awarded for their efforts with large contracts keeping them in San Francisco for the next few seasons.

Marco Scutaro, acquired from the Rockies,
quickly became a force for the Giants.
It might be easy to see what's happening with the NL West and Los Angeles' attempt to crush their division and say that the Giants need to follow suit and make more drastic moves, but that would be drastically underestimating the tremendous feat that is accomplishing two world championship's in three years.  Effective team chemistry and a management staff that's a proven recipe for victory shouldn't be altered drastically, no matter who finds themselves on the free agent market. The Dodgers are attempting to take the Giants crown by way of mass acquisition of major talent, whereas the key to the Giants consistent success has been subtlety and solidity. There are no blatant weak spots in the Giants front office (with the exception of 2011's incredibly short sighted trade of Zack Wheeler for Carlos Beltran) lineup, rotation or bullpen.

Rookie of the Year
Two World Series Rings
Very Kind Smile
It's not as if the Giants front office hasn't had some difficult decisions to make. All of the players re-signed with the Giants are of veteran status and largely without an all-star pedigree. This reality makes the prospect of injury or decline a very real possibility. The Giants also assessed Sergio Romo's fantastic season as leverage enough to part ways with (inexplicable) fan favorite Brian Wilson after his second Tommy John surgery. The Giants won the World Series with an MVP catcher, a top five pitcher, extremely modest offense, and an ace in serious decline after two time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum posted a 5.18 ERA with a 10-15 record. Despite adversity and quiet aspects of their play, the Giants seems to have found a recipe for consistent contention that they are careful not to tamper with. Expect them to contend in the fierce NL West again in 2013.

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